Last goodbye: Meghan Markle waves and clasps Prince Harry’s hand as the couple depart their final engagement as senior royals
- Duke and Duchess of Sussex left Westminster Abbey after their final royal duty
- Commonwealth Service was final official engagement before Megxit on May 31
- Meghan was seen holding onto Harry’s hand as the pair drove away from abbey
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry signalled their last hurrah as senior members of the Royal Family with a wave as the couple drove away from a rainy Westminster Abbey.
Today’s Commonwealth Service was their final official engagement before their exit from The Firm – dubbed Megxit.
From March 31, the monarch’s grandson and American former actress Meghan will no longer use their HRH styles as they pursue a new life of personal and financial freedom, mostly in North America.
Meghan, 38, was photographed clutching her husband’s hand as they departed in their vehicle, with Harry, 35, staring steadfastly ahead.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry signalled their last hurrah as senior members of the Royal Family today with a wave as the couple drove away from a rainy Westminster Abbey.
Meghan was photographed clutching her husband’s hand as they departed in their vehicle, with Harry staring steadfastly ahead
Meghan smiled with closed lips as she waved at the crowds from the backseat, after clambering into the car before her husband clutching a colourful bouquet of flowers.
Earlier today the Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked in ahead of Prince William and Kate Middleton – the first public meeting of the two brothers and their wives since Megxit was announced two months ago – before Prince Charles and Camilla also arrived and the Queen then made an entrance to trumpet fanfare and cheers from crowds outside.
Unlike last year, Harry and Meghan were conducted to their seats at the church in London, rather than waiting for the Queen’s arrival and walking through with the monarch and key royals as they did in March 2019.
The Sussexes arrived after the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Once seated, the royals’ position on the chairs was based on their ranks within the family, with Charles next to the Queen due to him being first-in-line, followed by William in second, and Harry in sixth.
The Duchess of Sussex climbed into the car ahead of her husband at the end of the service, clutching a bouquet of colourful spring flowers
They took similar positions last year, although Meghan was next to Prince Andrew, who has since stepped down from royal duties.
Meghan was seen to mouth ‘hi’ and give a small wave to William and Kate, followed by a ‘hello’, as the Cambridges took their seat in the High Altar. Harry also said ‘hello’ and smiled at his brother.
It comes after Harry admitted last October that he and his brother are on ‘different paths’ and have good and bad days in their relationship.
As the Sussexes made their way out of the Great West Door, the duchess crouched down to chat to the children who were handing out bouquets to the royal women.
Earlier today the Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked into Westminster Abbey ahead of Prince William and Kate Middleton
Harry gave a farewell wave to some of those gathered inside the Abbey gates.
As their final official duty as senior royals came to an end, the couple held hands as they walked towards their car before they were driven swiftly away.
Meghan looked resplendent in an emerald green caped dress by designer Emilia Wickstead with a matching hat by William Chambers.
It was the first time in four months that she and Harry were reunited with Prince William and Kate, in what has been dubbed an ‘awkward and tense’ meeting.
Meghan looked resplendent in an emerald green caped dress by designer Emilia Wickstead with a matching hat by William Chambers
It was the first time in four months that she and Harry were reunited with Prince William and Kate, in what has been dubbed an ‘awkward and tense’ meeting
The Sussexes and Cambridges came together for the first time since they paid their respects at a Remembrance Day service in November and for the last time before Harry and Meghan bow out of royal duties.
According to a body language expert, the reunion was full of tension and William seemingly failed to greet his brother.
Judi James said: ‘It wasn’t the warm reunion that we were all hoping for. The tension in Harry’s body language especially was palpable.
‘When he arrived, the minute he and Meghan had to drop hands, he immediately reached for his wedding ring which is a self comfort.
As the Sussexes made their way out of the Great West Door, the duchess crouched down to chat to the children who were handing out bouquets to the royal women
‘Even when she was beside him after they had stopped holding hands, he was missing her, needing her support.’
However, once the Cambridges had left the service, Ms James believes Harry and Meghan instantly relaxed.
She said: ‘With the other royals gone, Harry and Meghan became an animated, tactile double-act again, with Harry chatting to Craig David as though he was an old friend and Meghan even leaning forward to touch Anthony Joshua on the arm to congratulate him for his speech.
‘Harry suddenly looked like a man reluctant to leave a party, throwing a thumbs up gesture to Joshua over his shoulder while Meghan touched Harry’s arm to steer him away.’
Aides have said Harry and Meghan, who are retaining Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, will be in the UK regularly. Pictured arriving at Westminster Abbey earlier today
On March 31, Meghan will bow out of royal life just one year, 10 months and 12 days – or 682 days – after marrying into the family. She spent almost five years longer appearing on screen in the US drama Suits.
The duchess, then Meghan Markle, starred as paralegal Rachel Zane between June 23 2011 and April 25 2018, totalling six years, 10 months and three days, or 2,499 days.
Aides have said Harry and Meghan, who are retaining Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, will be in the UK regularly.
But this final official appearance is a poignant milestone as they prepare to embark on their future away from the Royal Family.
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